[Under-RM1k Phone Review] Xiaomi MiA2

Disclaimer: I received a test unit for the purpose of this review. The unit will be returned. All the opinion below is mine. EDIT: 1.5 months after this article was published, they offered me the phone. I accepted and currently using it.

I love Xiaomi products – I own two of their phones (using the Redmi Note 4 now), the powerbank and the earphones. I’ve written and promoted them before this, here and here.

In July, I got the opportunity to test out the Xiaomi MiA2 phone. I was particularly excited about it, because I’ve always wanted a phone with good camera, but those don’t come cheap does it? The Twitter crowd confirmed this.

https://twitter.com/BawangByte/status/958970120780460032



https://twitter.com/kzamri/status/958970722155610112

https://twitter.com/kesh1018/status/959269503308673025

Having played around with the test unit, here’s an honest review of the phone. Before we start, price, because that part is the first thing I take into consideration. The Xiaomi MiA2 phone is only RM999 for the 4GB + 64GB one and RM1199 for the 6GB + 128GB one! (Note: price quoted is retail price)

Xiaomi MiA2 Review

xiaomi mia2

Now, I’m not even going to pretend I know and understand the tech stuff, because I don’t. I don’t know how good/bad the Snapdragon 660 processor is (I heard it’s good?). This review is more from the user experience side – what I like and don’t like about it.

The full specs is at the end of this article.

What I like about the Xiaomi MiA2 phone

Daylight pics look BOMBZ

The 12MP+20MP dual camera does not disappoint. Pictures taken with the phone look super crisp!

The portrait shots are absolutely gorgeous

The front camera is also 20MP, which is great for selfies and wefies. Doing selfies on portrait mode was awesome – I don’t care if the pictures are AI-enhanced. I’m just happy I look awesome here hahahah

Low-light shots are pretty good too

To be fair, Xiaomi MiA2 does not give perfect, DSLR-quality shots, but good enough. (I’d be asking for too much if I expect DSLR-quality night shots at this price range).

Huge and awesome display

The screen is 5.99 inches and in full HD. Visuals look great!

10-seconds video option as one of the picture settings

Handy for social media posts. No need to waste time trimming videos. #timeismoney

Free phone case

Comes in gold, blue and black. I appreciate it when phone companies give free phone cases, I really do. Can save money.

Google Photos instead of Gallery

No wonder they didn’t add in a micro-SD slot for the Xiaomi MiA2 phone – it’s all Google-integrated. If you didn’t know, Google users can store unlimited high-quality photos with their Gmail accounts.

Again, FREE. UNLIMITED. PHOTO. STORAGE.

I’ve been using this Google feature for years and absolutely love it. You can opt to make wifi-only photo uploads too, so it doesn’t affect your precious data.

Finally get to try AndroidOne!

I’ve heard a lot about the AndroidOne, Google’s built-in AI software. So far it’s only available for selected phones – Xiaomi MiA2 being one of it. And guys, I have to say – it’s pretty awesome. Super intuitive. A+ on user experience. No joke.

Dual SIM

Dual SIMs are very handy during travels – I can just buy and insert a local SIM card without removing (and potentially losing) my Malaysian SIM card.

No Bloatware!!!

These are all the apps that came with the phone! That’s it! No pre-installed MIUI apps that I can’t delete, unlike in the other Xiaomi phones I tried! Super appreciate this!

Feels expensive

It’s super thin. Comes in metal body. Awfully clean design. I’m into it.

Now that we’re done with the positives, let’s go to the negatives.

What I don’t like about the Xiaomi MiA2 phone

No headphone jack

>:(

BUT to their credit they did include a Type-C to audio adaptor, so you can still use your (non-wireless) headphones. I’m glad they do this, because phones without headphone jacks are kind of a dealbreaker for me. I don’t really want to splurge on new accessories if I don’t have to.

Panorama shots are kinda meh

I don’t know if that particular day was too glare-y for it, but all the panorama shots I took looks overexposed.

They also sell Xiaomi MiA2 Lite, which is kind of confusing

Xiaomi MiA2 is NOT Xiaomi MiA2 Lite. MiA2 Lite is cheaper (RM600 plus), and although they market it as a dual camera phone, the camera specs are much lower –  12MP+5MP, with 5MP front camera (instead of 12MP+20MP, with 20MP front camera). It does come with higher battery capacity though at 4000mAh.

To make matters more confusing,  MiA2 Lite is also called Redmi 6 Pro :/

So yeah if you plan to buy the MiA2, don’t accidentally but MiA2 Lite one or anything. They’re almost like two different phones.

Type-C USB port instead of mini-USB

I’m going to have to buy new sets of backup cables in Type-C now, sigh. If it’s any consolation, this port is supposed to result in faster charging.

Don’t mind me, I’m just sulking. It’s just that I have lots of spare mini-USB cables and it kind of sucks they will be made redundant when I switch to this phone in the future.

Verdict

Despite the downsides, the Xiaomi MiA2 phone gets a thumbs up from me! It has so many features and still priced under RM1k kot (for the 4GB + 64GB one) – very hard to find fault at that price! Other camera phones will cost at least triple!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t wait for my current phone to die so I can switch to the MiA2 ASAP :p At the time of writing, my Redmi Note 4 is still going strong after about 1.5 years of use. It’s not even slowing down*. Admittedly, this is a good problem to have.

*The only time the Redmi Note 4 phone slows down is if the weather is really hot and it overheats.

Full Specs of Xiaomi MiA2

Camera

  • Rear 12MP + 20MP dual camera
    • Sony IMX486 sensor: 12MP, 1.25μm, f/1.75
    • Sony IMX376 sensor: 20MP, 2μm Super Pixel, f/1.75
  • Front Sony IMX376 sensor: 20MP, f/2.2
    • 4500K selfie-light
    • 2μm Super Pixel, low-light enhancement
    • AI portrait selfies, semantic segmentation
    • Front HDR

Performance

  • Qualcomm(R) Snapdragon(TM) 660 processor
    • 2.2GHz max
    • Qualcomm(R) Adreno(TM) 512 GPU
  • 4GB+32GB, 4GB+64GB (RM999), 6GB+128GB (RM1199) (Note: at time of writing, 4GB+32GB is not available in Malaysia)
  • Android One

Display

  • 5.99″ 18:9 display (2160×1080) FHD+
    • 403 PPI, 85% NTSC
    • Colour contrast ratio: 1500:1
    • 2.5D glass
    • Software buttons

Design

  • Metal unibody
  • Rear fingerprint sensor
  • Dimensions: 158.7×75.4×7.3mm
  • Weight: 166g
  • Available in: Black, Gold, Blue, Red, Rose Gold (Note: at time of writing, the last two is not available in Malaysia)

Battery

  • 3010mAh(typ) battery
  • 5V/2A charging
  • USB Type-C, USB 2.0

Connectivity

  • Dual Nano SIM
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GSM: B2/3/4/8
  • WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8
  • TDD-LTE: B38/40
  • FDD-LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20

Where to Buy (Official)

ProTip: Buy from Lazada via Shopback (note: referral link) for some cashback. Layer it with cashback credit cards and/or collect points with it.

What do you think of the Xiaomi MiA2? Do you own Xiaomi products? How is it? Let me know in the comments section 😀

Author

8 comments

  1. I’ve bought one the second day it was out.

    Imo, the specs are comparable/better in some respects than the iPhone 8 plus (3.5x more expensive). The build feels really premium, and the photos are so damn gorgeous. No complaints!

  2. I love Xiaomi products. All ,Tab inclusive . The guys rock. My only regret is it is very difficult to get the phone, Flash sale and all!. But I wait.

  3. I’ve used Xiaomi phones from the Redmi Note to the current Redmi Note 5 (AI Dual Camera…I can’t find where’s the AI feature)and I can say that Xiaomi produce excellent product for a reasonable price. But if you go for the higher end models like the Mi 8, it still can be categorizes as a reasonable price. A Samsung Galaxy phone can cost up to 3 Redmi Notes and 2 Mi8. I’ve use the MiA1 also last year and what i can say is the experience using Android One device is an awesome experience for its price. Awesome camera and awesome software experience. Looking forward to get my hands on the MiA2!!!

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